Ruiz Food Products v. Camino Real Foods, Inc., 2009 US Dist. LEXIS 105941 (E.D. Cal. 2009)
Plaintiff alleged that Defendant’s new packaging for burritos (sold in multi-burrito packages) infringed on its trade dress. Plaintiff filed for a preliminary injunction. The court compared the packaging in question and determined that a preliminary injunction was not warranted but invited Plaintiff to refile the motion if it discovered evidence of actual confusion or evidence of a higher the degree of care in purchasing of Mexican food.
The court agreed with plaintiff that the overall look of its packaging could be subject to a trade dress claim. The court also agreed that plaintiff’s evidence of its advertising budget was sufficient to establish secondsry meaning at the preliminary injunction stage. However, the court then thoroughly compared the parties’ packaging and found that many of the similar items were functional or were weak. Additionally, there was evidence that Defendant used many of the elements before Plaintiff, contradicting the allegation that Defendant intended to copy Plaintiff.